Healthy Cities 2022

The ranking of Healthy Cities 2022 in France

Les villes santé 2022, lesquelles sont-elles?

In 2050, it is predicted that more than 70% of the world’s population will live in an urban environment. Even if living in a city represents undeniable advantages, urban pollution (noise, NO2, SO2, fine particles, heat islands…) is also present. This prolonged exposure can have health effects such as the development of chronic diseases, asthma in children or sleep problems. But don’t panic, Meersens has created a ranking of healthy cities for you! 

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Healthy cities in 2022
Healthy cities in 2022

Meersens, with its data and experience in exposome analysis and personalized health risks, analyzed 20 of the most populated French cities according to health-related criteria. These cities are ranked according to 6 health factors:

Number of chronic diseases
Life expectancy at birth
Mental health
Air quality 
Water quality

Top 3 healthy cities 2022 to live in optimal health conditions in France

City of Dijon : Healthy city 2022

Dijon’s strenghts :

  • Good air quality 
  • Pychic well-being 


Dijon’s weaknesses :

  • High percentage of obesity


The French city winning the award for the best city for healthy living conditions is Dijon, with an average of 13.5 out of 20!

Dijon, capital of the Burgundy-Franche-Comté region, is known for its favorable environment thanks to its cultural vitality.

In terms of outdoor air quality, Dijon is rather good. It is one of the few large cities in France to partially respect the daily air quality standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO), even if some exceedances for fine particles and ozone are to be noted. Learn more here.

In addition, it has a high percentage of obesity. It is important to know that a population with a high percentage of obese population is a population whose health will be impacted.

City of Lyon : second healthy city 2022

Lyon’s strengths :

  • Psychological well-being
  • Low number of chronic diseases

Lyon’s weaknesses :


  • Frequent pollution peaks of ozone and particulate matter

The city of Lyon is in second place in our ranking of health cities 2022 with an average of 13.4 out of 20!

Indeed, the city of Lyon scores well in each of the categories studied and is located in a department where the number of chronic diseases treated per 100,000 inhabitants is rather low compared to many other departments.

In addition, Lyon has one of the highest scores for quality of life and mental health. In fact, in addition to being a dynamic city, Lyon enjoys a well-preserved natural environment with 1,800 hectares of greenery covering 40% of its territory. The city offers many breathing spaces with more than 300 parks and gardens: Parc de la Tête-d’or, Parc Blandan, Parc de Gerland, etc. Lyon is also known for its gastronomy (renamed “World Capital of Gastronomy” in 1935).

Regarding air quality, Lyon is a city that exceeds the annual thresholds of the pollutants analyzed (fine particles (PM2.5/PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone O3).

City of Angers

City of health

Angers’s strengths:

  • High life expectancy
  • Low percentage of obese people

Angers’s weaknesses: 

  • Hospitalization for chronic diseases

The city of Angers is positioned at the third step of the podium with an average of 13.3 out of 20!

Angers, along with the areas of Paris and Nante, has the lowest percentage of obese people with less than 15%. Moreover, the city of Angers has a high life expectancy at birth!

In addition, Angers needs to implement preventive actions in order to reduce the number of people treated for chronic diseases.

3 cities where living conditions are to be improved by 2022

City of Lille :

Lille’s strengths :

  • Dynamic student city


Lille’s weaknesses :


  • High percentage of obesity
  • Lower life expectancy than elsewhere in France
  • Air quality

The city of Lille with an average of 11 out of 20!

Lille is one of the French cities most affected by air pollution. Indeed, the city of Lille has often been brought to exceed the maximum threshold of fine particles. The air quality remains good even if there are improvements to be made.

The life expectancy in Lille is high but still lower than many other cities in France. Moreover, the percentage of obese people is quite high in the area where Lille is located.

City of Reims :

Reims’s strengths:

  • Good air quality



Reims’s weaknesses:


  • High percentage of obesity
  • Degraded psychological well-being

The city of Reims with an average of 11 out of 20.

The area where the city of Reims is located reaches a percentage of obesity of over 20% of the population. Targeted preventive actions could be implemented in this area.

Reims has a relatively good air quality thanks to its various actions: self-service bicycles, electric vehicle recharging facilities, buses running on natural gas but also the delimitation of a Low Emission Mobility Zone (ZFEm), established since September 1, 2021.

City of Strasbourg :

Strasbourg’s strengths:

  • French capital of cycling and Christmas

Strasbourg’s weaknessess:


  • Poor air quality
  • High hospitalizations for chronic diseases
  • Degraded psychological well-being

The city of Strasbourg is ranked last in our 2022 Health Cities ranking, with an average of 10.9 out of 20.

Strasbourg is one of nine areas in France where the pollution threshold is frequently exceeded. The city is mainly affected by three types of air pollutants: ozone, fine particles (PM10 and PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide.

It is estimated that each year, in the Eurometropolis, 500 deaths are linked to air pollution. Air pollution plays an important role in the loss of life expectancy and mortality, but also in the development of chronic diseases (cardiovascular, respiratory, cancer …).

The number of chronic diseases treated is high in Strasbourg. However, it is still possible to reduce this number through targeted and personalized prevention actions. The improvement of outdoor air quality is a major issue for public health and the environment, so it is important to act.

Meersens helps you take action to improve the health and well-being of your citizens. Monitor the environmental quality of public spaces and streets with real-time modeling and IoT data.

Our complete ranking of Healthy Cities 2022

It should be noted that all the cities obtain a score higher than 10, which indicates an environment that remains correct for health. However, some cities stand out for their more protective environment in the long term, even if each city can still improve its situation by carrying out preventive actions for health and the environment.

The methodology used

In this ranking of healthy cities, we have classified these 20 French cities according to the following criteria:

  • The number of days when the daily thresholds are exceeded for the following pollutants: PM2,5 ; PM10 ; O3 ; NO2
  • Number of chronic pathologies treated and standardized per 100 000 inhabitants
  • The quality of drinking water through the analysis of compliance with reference and quality values
  • The percentage of people with a Body Mass Index >30kg/m², i.e. in a situation of obesity.
  • Average life expectancy in years (male/female) at birth
  • Mental health by region during 2017 (18-75 years) in % (Prevalence standardized on sex and age per 100 inhabitants) to assess the psychological well-being of the populations
  • Each criterion/indicator is converted into a score out of 20 except for water quality which impacts the final score as a malus. The higher the score, the more it indicates a protective criterion for health.

As you can see, even if you don’t live in the best city in the overall ranking, each one has its strengths. Generally speaking, France has a good quality of drinking water and a high life expectancy at birth.

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